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Ron DeSantis to Launch Presidential Campaign on Twitter With Elon Musk

Ron DeSantis to Launch Presidential Campaign on Twitter With Elon Musk – According to NBC News, Ron DeSantis, the rightwing governor of Florida, is set to announce his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. He will make this announcement during a live event on Wednesday evening, alongside Elon Musk, the billionaire who owns Twitter. The event will take place on Twitter Spaces at 6pm ET and will be moderated by David Sacks, a tech entrepreneur and close associate of Musk who supports DeSantis. 

Several news sources have verified this plan, and Musk himself retweeted one of the reports. The billionaire also trailed the interview in remarks to a conference hosted by the Wall Street Journal, adding that though he would “not at this time endorse any particular candidate” he was “interested in Twitter being somewhat of a public town square where more and more organizations make announcements.”

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After hosting a notable gathering of donors in Miami, DeSantis was anticipated to unveil an announcement video on Wednesday. Fox News disclosed that the governor would be interviewed by Trey Gowdy, a former Republican congressman and current Fox News host, at 8pm ET. Reports have also surfaced about plans for a kick-off rally in Dunedin, DeSantis’s hometown. Following the Memorial Day holiday, NBC revealed that the governor intends to visit early voting states next week. 

It is worth noting that DeSantis has already made repeated visits to these states as part of his pre-campaign activities, which included the publication of a book focused on his campaign. In the Republican primary polls, Ron DeSantis has consistently held the second position, although his standing has progressively fallen further behind Donald Trump. The former president is facing unprecedented legal challenges, including an upcoming criminal trial scheduled for late March next year in New York. 

Additionally, there is a possibility of indictment for his involvement in election subversion and incitement of the January 6 insurrection. However, Trump has managed to garner support from Republican voters by portraying himself as a victim of political persecution amidst these challenges. Twitter played a significant role in Trump’s ascent to power, but he was suspended from the platform following the events of January 6.  Although Elon Musk lifted the ban, Trump has opted to continue using Truth Social, the social media platform he established during his period of exile. 

Reporting DeSantis’s announcement plans, the New York Times said Musk would “add a surprising element and give Mr DeSantis access to a large audience online.” But the paper also said Musk would “inject a level of risk into a rollout that is expected to be carefully scripted and ensure that Mr DeSantis’s first impression as a presidential candidate will be aligning himself with an eccentric businessman who has ranked at times as the world’s richest man.”

Under Elon Musk’s ownership, Twitter has experienced ongoing turmoil and a series of controversies surrounding his personal use of the platform. On Tuesday Maxwell Frost, a Democratic congressman from Florida, greeted news of DeSantis’s plans with derision. Rick Wilson, a Republican operative turned co-founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project, said the conversation between Musk and DeSantis would be, “to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, the unspeakable in pursuit of the unelectable”

Nevertheless, as he enters the race, DeSantis brings with him a track record of success as a staunch conservative governor. After winning the position in 2018, following his service in the US Navy and multiple terms in the US House, DeSantis secured a landslide victory in his re-election last year. While the Florida legislature has yet to finalize a bill that would allow him to run for the presidency without resigning as governor, his aspirations remain unaffected.

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With his sights set on the White House, DeSantis has expedited the implementation of policies inspired by culture wars. These policies cover a range of issues, including gender, LGBTQ+ rights, history education (particularly regarding race), abortion, gun control, and voter suppression. However, Democrats and some political observers argue that the consequences of these policies, such as the highly publicized legal battle with Disney over a “don’t say gay” public education law, may make DeSantis unappealing to voters in a general election.

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Recent data released by the think tank Data for Progress indicates that a majority of women likely to vote express disapproval of DeSantis. Regarding the surveyed issues, 54% of the respondents expressed opposition to the six-week abortion ban that DeSantis enacted in April. Additionally, 57% of those polled were against book bans in public school libraries that stemmed from parental objections. Furthermore, a significant majority of 75% were against the recent law signed by DeSantis allowing concealed carry of firearms without a permit or training.

Despite the concerns surrounding DeSantis’s policies and the widespread criticism of his interpersonal skills and lack of campaign-trail charisma, which has led to reports of donor unease, head-to-head polling between DeSantis and President Joe Biden typically indicates a close race between the two. Other contenders for the Republican nomination include Nikki Haley, a former governor of South Carolina and ambassador to the United Nations; Tim Scott, a current US senator from South Carolina; Asa Hutchinson, a former governor of Arkansas; and Vivek Ramaswamy, a biotech entrepreneur.

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